Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Minnesota Vikings: betting odds, preview, pick

Jamie Squire

Tampa Bay has owned the Vikings in recent years, both straight up and against the spread. And they get 7 points on the Thursday Night NFL point spread to try to make it 6 in a row.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games against Minnesota and will try to make it six straight Thursday when they visit the Vikings at the Metrodome.

Tampa Bay was a 6.5-point underdog by midweek against a team that has struggled in the role as favorite, going just 2-8-1 ATS in 11 recent games.

Despite owning just a 2-4 SU record through their first six games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played well under new head coach Greg Schiano. Tampa Bay is 4-2 ATS and all four of its SU losses have been by a touchdown or less.

"But as an underdog, they have lost 12 of 13 games overall and only covered the spread four times during that time," said Scott Winstone, sportsbook manager at TopBet.

The team's biggest problem so far has been its pass defense, which ranks near the bottom of the league allowing 323 passing yards per game.

Through the first half of the season, there hasn't been a bigger surprise team than the Minnesota Vikings. With last week's win and cover against the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota improved to 5-2 SU and 3-3-1 ATS with a 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS record over its last five games.

The Vikings are allowing just 18.7 points per game on defense and have been extremely consistent on offense behind Adrian Peterson scoring at least 20 points in every game this season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-9 SU in their last nine road games, but have covered the spread in both of their road losses this season to Dallas and the New York Giants. Overall, the Buccaneers are just 2-14 SU over their last 16 games.

Minnesota has been consistent on both sides of the ball all season, and it looks pretty likely that their SU losing streak to the Buccaneers will come to an end this week.

But considering how close Tampa Bay has played teams this year and how strong the Buccaneers' rushing defense is (allowing only 76 rushing yards per game), this looks like it could be a close game. We'll take the 6.5 points on Tampa Bay even though we expect Minnesota to win the game outright.

PICK: Tampa Bay +6.5 (courtesy of PickShark.com - watch for line moves and matchup details)

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